A Walker’s Journal by Anthony Linick
Some 110 miles will be needed to complete the Greensand Way – but it is hard to give a precise figure because extra miles are sometimes needed to reach this route from points of public transportation. Professional assistance is available but this is a walk that most people can easily organize for themselves as a series of day walks from London. This is what we did in a time scheme that began in Haslemere in 1991 and concluded at Ham Street in 2003.
The walk is not a particularly strenuous one and there are a number of opportunities for completing shorter stretches. Under any circumstances you will have chosen a delightful countryside, rural and suburban, for your adventure – with many interesting buildings, villages and places of refreshment to encounter in both Surrey and Kent.
We began the walk utilizing pamphlets issued by the respective county councils and Ordnance Survey maps in the old Landranger format, one inch to the mile – sheets 186, 187, 188, and 189. The two and half inch to the mile Explorer series provides far greater detail but there are so many of them: Sheets 125, 133, 134, 136, 137, 145, 146, 147 and 148. I do notice that Kent County Council has now prepared a real guidebook for the walk, written by Bea Cowan – and it includes relevant excerpts from the OS maps within it. And, not to be outdone, Surrey County Council has a series of PDF files that contain maps and route descriptions as well.
For those of you who wish to prepare for your own outing by sampling our experiences (as reflected in the journal entries that follow) I do need to add that there is one significant gap in these. Because we had already walked the section from Ightham Mote to Hurst Green as part of our progress along the London Country Way, we did not repeat this section. You can check out our walk through the missing territory if you read Days 19 and 20 in the walking journals for the London Countryway (elsewhere on this website) – though we were walking from east to west then; the Greensand Way is usually walked west to east. You, however, can always let me know how you approached this route by leaving a note via the Contact Page.
Our own stages were as follows:
Day One: Haslemere to Witley Station – 10 miles
Day Two: Witley Station to Guildford (the latter via a link route) – 12 miles
Day Three: Rooks Hill Farm to Wotton – 13 miles
Day Four: Wotton to Betchworth – 8 miles
Day Five: Betchworth to South Nutfield – 9 miles
Day Six: South Nutfield to Hurst Green – 8.5 miles
Day Seven: Ightham Mote to Yalding – 9 miles
Day Eight: Yalding to Sutton Valence – 9.5 miles
Day Nine: Sutton Valence to Little Chart –11 miles
Day Ten: Little Chart to Ham Street – 13 miles